The marching band from President-elect Barack Obama's high school will perform in his inaugural parade in January.
Jason Sivill, director of the marching band at Punahou School in Honolulu, says school officials tried not to rely too heavily on Punahou's relationship with Obama, who graduated from the school in 1979. But they didn't forget about it, either.
"We think we were tactful about it, but we definitely included it in the essay portion of the application," Sivill says. "We tried not to make it the most important thing that we were casting our application in favor of."
One serious challenge the Hawaiian students will face when they arrive in Washington is the dramatic temperature change. Sivill says he's preparing the band for the cold weather during practice.
"We let them know how the cold weather that they're going to see, how that is going to impact them," he says. "How that affects the instruments, and how that affects them and their psychology.
"We're taking all necessary steps to facilitate great playing at the parade," Sivill continues. "But until we actually get there and the kids feel it, there won't be a realistic element."
The band will play two marches, including "Men of Punahou" when they pass the presidential reviewing stand. They will also play Brahms' Symphony No. 1.
And, contrary to some reports, they will not play Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours."